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The feature back is not in as poor of health as others would have you believe.
The continued evolution of the passing game has certainly diminished the role of the running game.
Three quarterbacks going for over 5,000 yards in 2012 is incontrovertible evidence of this.
However, the prevailing notion that teams are hesitant to employ a feature back when they can use a committee is filled with flaws.
The first of which is that the problem is not the role, it's the player who fills it. If your team does not have a Matt Forte or Adrian Peterson, then they have no choice.
It would make little sense to rely on mediocrity. A team is not going to lower the value of their carries by diverting them from a stellar running back.
Additionally, the rushing numbers are lower because the role is slightly different now. A No. 1 back spends as much time catching passes as he does taking handoffs.
Quite frankly, the NFL is about winning. The key to victories is to have your best players make key plays.
So if the running back is the most talented player on the team, what coach is not going to feed him the ball?